I think the hardest part of any relationship isn’t the finding, it’s the revealing moment.That inescapable time when we take off our emotional sheathes.
That time when you take off your cute sandals, forget the sandy shores of your relationship, and dive into the deep: fight tooth and nail for your relationship or die from the riptides.That time where one has to show their junk because the truth is, we come into relationships pre loaded with our junk bags, whether we know it or not.
Most of us are wounded and we carry those wounds as junk. Junk from our childhood memories, junk from last week. The cliques that rejected us, the relatives who betrayed us, the relationships that broke us as we gave ourselves away in hopes of reciprocity, the kisses we thought would kindle love, the words that were spoken to us.
Junk comes in various packages. Some do carry backpacks full of junk, others operate from a junkyard, while others are junkies by definition. Whichever your spectrum, we all do have emotional trinkets that clutter our spaces.
When reveal moments come, none of us is ever fully prepared. We would rather show our picture perfect shapes.
I remember wondering if we would pull through our reveal moments. Time came for Johnny and I to have difficult and pain stalking conversations about our past, our insecurities, our fears, our failures, our mistakes and our retakes. Nothing shimmery, all was heavy and dense.
It was hard, yet too necessary to be avoided.
Taking about our wounded hearts was hard. Taking about our failed relationships was harder. Talking about our emotional barricades was the hardest. Talking about our kryptonites was almost unimaginable.
One guy who felt obliged to bring Johnny up to speed about my past relationship he was privy to. It was as if he was waiting for that golden opportunity, and trust me, it didn’t pass him. So he went on to explain to him about my ex, and all the nitties he had under his sleeves.
After he was done, Johnny, as calm and assertive as he always is simply told him, “I have more details about that story than you do. In short, I know.”
Later that evening, Johnny told me of the pesky uninvited guest, who thought our relationship was bridled by secrecy and mysteries. Talk about the little foxes that try to nip the vineyards. Hello!
See, many of us are wounded and don’t even realize it. For some of us, we’ve had moments that etched on our hearts, marked us, but we haven’t fully grasped the damage those moments caused. Sadly, some wounds don’t even come out until later on, most times, after the relationship progresses on or after marriage.
So, as much as God enables us, if we have the breath of life, before marriage, we must have these conversations.
Courtship is a testing time, vulnerable yet glorious at the same time. It’s a time where the waters of grace are tested in depth, to see if it’s evidencing real love. The love that will be inevitable in marriage. The love that 1st Corinthians reminds us.
Now, if you get into a relationship and the person isn’t willing to be fully stripped down, therein lies a huge red flag. How we handle each other when in courtship does significantly set the tempo and the posture of the marriage to be.
If you listen well, people generally will tell you who they are before you get involved will them in a relationship. Silence is not only a form of communication, but it is by itself, communication.
That unwillingness, ebbing away from such moments under the guise of sickness, or “you don’t need to know of my past”, should definitely tell you that trust will be an issue in marriage.
Who said that the “past isn’t important?” It is by all means.
For Christ sake, what have they been up to? Are they workaholics, possibly that’s why they have had no social life? Did a relationship dent her? Did he have a marriage that didn’t work out? What unattractive trinkets do you both have?
You carry the past. You carry those experiences and bring them with you in marriage. So it is important to reveal who you are, what made you and consequently what broke you. Your trophies and your battle scars.
If you fail to have those reveal moments, depth will be an issue. Honest conversations will never break forth.Vulnerability will never see the light of day. Safety will never be birthed, therefore, intimacy, will never grow.
Song of Solomon 2:14 says, “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”
Consider this, it is possible that some kind of information from the past reared it’s head, and it disrupted their romantic tide. Like any other couple, they hit an emotional iceberg on their love voyage.The reveal moments came.
Whoever, that didn’t dissuade Solomon. He did not pull away; he continued to pursue her. He drew nigh. He was picked up the tempo of grace, exercising the muscle of leadership that will be bestowed on.
Isn’t it graciously satisfying and steadying when someone gets a glimpse of your not so enticing emotional trinkets and still stays put? So, how we act when those violet and blue shades appear, speaks in volumes.
The reality is, someone could walk away from you and your issues, but the truth is, nothing compares to how freeing, confidence building and hope giving it will be when you enter marriage with one who has confronted the reality of your issues and says, “I’m all in!”
If you haven’t had the reveal moments in your relationship, honestly, it’s less on it’s longevity, and more of a facade.
You are living superficially with no capacity whatsoever of growth beyond the plastic layer. That relationship is weak rooted, rocky and shaky and will always require an emergency CPR to keep it’s heartbeat up and it’s pulse right.
You will spend all your life supporting that marriage with perfunctory clutches, putting a show of “what I wish I could have” vis a vis what I have.
Notice the perspective of Song of Solomon 2:15: “Catch the foxes for us.” There is a help from without. They asked for help, to catch those foxes.
It’s alright to get help to help you through your reveal moments. Go for a good premarital counseling, together.You could go counseling too as an individual. Get accountable to spiritual leaders in the church and family, especially your parents or guardians.
They will help you peek through the lattice of your relationship and help you navigate through those moments with ease, godliness and rest.
Consider this, has your relationship progressed on too far without having the reveal moments?
If so, recalibrate, the writing is on the wall.You lack the very paint of a thriving marriage. Honesty and intimacy, on the canvas of unconditional love.